Many copywriters work from home. Great! No daily traffic battles to deal with, work in your pyjamas if you like, and have as many cups of coffee as you want. That’s the upside of being a home-based freelance copywriter.
But sadly, for some people, the downside is isolation. Freelance copywriting can be a lonely business. If you spend eight hours a day closeted in your office with nobody else to talk to, you might start to feel the strain of your self-imposed solitude.
But before you change your mind and dash off in search of a more social career, there are ways you can help prevent those feelings of isolation.
If you don’t already use social media, it’s time you started. They’re great marketing channels and will help you build your copywriting career. But they are also a way of communicating with others throughout your working day.
Of course, there’s a risk you could become a social media junkie and spend more time tweeting than you should. But managed with care, sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can provide the social interaction you need.
There is a school of thought which suggests networking meetings shouldn’t be treated as a social ‘jolly’. Anyone subscribing to that theory clearly has never worked from home alone!
Networking meetings are social and give you the opportunity to get out and meet other people. While you’re satisfying the need for human contact, you can also help generate new business. It’s a win-win situation.
There’s no rule of home working that says you have to stay at your desk all day, every day. Why not take the dog for a walk at lunchtime? If you’re a doggy person, you’ll know how easy it is to meet other dog walkers and pass the time of day.
Arrange to meet your prospective business contacts over a coffee in town. You’re still working, just not at your desk.
And if you can’t stand the sight of those four office walls for another minute, pack up your laptop and head for your nearest coffee shop (or pub). Plenty of places now have free Wi-Fi and are happy for you to write away, suitably refreshed with the odd cappuccino and slice of cake, of course.
Working from home isn’t obligatory for a copywriter. Whilst you might not want the expense of renting an office for your own use (and that would be just as solitary), investigate the potential of office sharing. You might find someone with space to spare who would appreciate a contribution to help with the rent.
Alternatively, if you have a sizeable home office, look for a freelancer who wants to share with you. Be aware, you might have to check the legislation first and you might also need some additional insurance.
Some business centres offer ‘hot desk‘ facilities. This means you pay to use the office space for a given period of time each week or month. You will need to take your laptop and mobile phone with you and you won’t be able to leave files or personal belongings there, but it will give you a change of scene.
Don’t forget to investigate your local Jelly meetings. These are held across the country (in the UK and overseas) especially to help freelancers escape the isolation of working from home.
Finally … if you’re one of the students on our copywriting course, you’ll soon be able to join in the chat in the Copywriting Café – our student forum.
Blog post by Joy McCarthy